By John Manzi
MONTICELLO November 29,2002 It wasnt a world class event but Monticello Raceways Battle of the Hunting Clubs on November 24 had strong local appeal.
With the increased interest this season, three divisions were needed to accommodate all the entrants in the fifth edition of races strictly for licensed big game hunters. And when the dust settled, John Feore, Larry Katz and Jeff Feinman made their hunting clubs proud as each drove a winner in their respective divisions.
Feore, representing the Last Chance Gun Club in Monticello, took no prisoners in using the front-end route to score a 2:17:4 victory in the first event with a trotter nicknamed Deer Call. Bill Shumanski, from the Tyler Ridge Club in Cochecton, was second with Tree Seat and Mark Chimura, representing the Mahogany Ridge Club in Monticello finished third behind Smokey Bear.
Larry Katz, from the Bear Paw Club in Monticello, showed some racing knowledge when he made a quarter pole move with his pacer Bear Trap to gain command and then went on to an easy victory in 2:14:3, the fastest of the three hunting club races that afternoon. Bob Titus, driving for the Finbar Club in Swan Lake came from far back to be second with Button Buck. Third place went to Brian Fraser of the Hemlock Hollow Club in Sackett Lake, who was driving High Powered Scope.
The final event was captured by Jeff Feinman of the King Bartlett Fish & Game Club of Eustus, Me. He guided a pacer nicknamed Spike Buck to an easy front-end victory in a leisurely 2:21:2 Eric Lubniewski of the Hook N Bullet Club of Smallwood finished second behind Pocket Knife and Jim Carnell, from the Squirrels Den in Monticello, finished third with Big Game Hunter.
Each year the competition among the licensed hunters representing their respective clubs brings patrons to the track, many of whom would never come and introduces them to the sport, and fun, of harness racing. Besides their family members, each club brings out a rooting section to cheer on their favorites. In all, 17 different hunting clubs participated in this years competition.
The non-betting events were staged between the races on the Sunday matinee program. For safetys sake, they were contested in jog carts without the use of whips.
The Superfecta Is Coming
Beginning next year and thats just a little over a month away one of the most popular wagers among the betting public, the Superfecta, will return as part of the wagering format at the Mighty M.
Back in the tracks heyday, the Superfecta produced huge payoffs. Now with its return, racing fans will have the opportunity to win thousands of dollars with just a $2 wager if they are fortunate enough to select the right numbers.
Playing the Superfecta is easy. Heres what must be done: a player must correctly select the first four horses to cross the finish line in exact order. Fans currently are used to playing the Trifectas where they need to have the correct order of finish for three horses; well, this is a similar bet but one more horse in correct finishing order is needed.
Though the Superfecta hasnt been around Monticello Raceway for decades, still on the books is the record payoff for the wager. On May 8, 1971, fans who correctly selected the 2-7-5-4 combination received a whopping $32,698.50 for a $2 bet.
This years edition will be available daily in the tracks ninth race and each one will have a nine-horse field.
And now with the betting pools bigger than theyve ever been, chances are that the record payoff will be eclipsed.